Landlords fear new legislation forcing them to check the status of immigrants who rent their property will be outlined in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday.
In a speech in immigration last week, Prime Minister David Cameron said that a mandatory licensing scheme will be introduced along with new rules allowing landlords to evict illegal immigrants more quickly.
The Prime Minister said: “We’ll crack down on unscrupulous landlords who cram houses full of illegal migrants by introducing a new mandatory licensing regime. And we’ll consult on cancelling tenancies automatically at the same point.”
The move follows a pilot scheme introduced in the West Midlands last year.
But landlord organi9sations have expressed their doubts over mandatory licensing.
Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, says: “No form of universal licensing of rented property is proven to capture the most unscrupulous landlords. As so often, the devil will be in the detail.”
The RLA is seeking an urgent meeting with immigration minister James Brokenshaw to discuss the proposals.
And David Cox, managing director of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents, adds: “We are pleased to see the Government listened to our housing manifesto calls for greater regulation of the private rented sector.
“While this is a step in the right direction, it’s not the full solution to the problem of rogue agents plaguing the market.
“We urge the government to take this opportunity and impose more appropriate, over-arching regulation on the whole lettings industry.”